Unveiling the Vital Role of Dental Nurses in Patient Care

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Unveiling the Vital Role of Dental Nurses in Patient Care

Role of Dental Nurses

Becoming a Dental Nurse is a great way to earn a living. Although you’ll focus on oral health, your workday will be ever-changing as each dental patient requires individual treatments and procedures.

You’ll be providing excellent service alongside a team of other dental care professionals. Not only will you be required to assist with medical procedures, but as a Dental Nurse, you’ll also be there to support the patient.

As dental practices can be a source of anxiety, many dental nurses need to provide emotional support. For this reason, you’ll need to have a caring disposition and be able to work well under pressure.

As a Dental Nurse, you will be able to find work in private or public healthcare across the UK. This could be in a dental practice, hospital setting or even as a Community Dental Nurse. Though, your Dental Nurse training doesn’t have to end there. Once qualified, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your career in other roles in dentistry.

With further training, you can find yourself working as a Dental Practice Manager, Dental Hygienist, Orthodontic Therapist or in dental photography. So, there’s plenty of room for growth if you have the ambition and drive.


Read on to learn more about what Dental Nurses do, how to become a Dental Nurse and a more in-depth breakdown of Dental Nurse responsibilities in different roles.


Getting Qualified

As a career that is well paid in comparison to other caring professions, Dental Nursing provides ample progression opportunities, and the ability to constantly build on your skills, making it a popular career move. This is why you will find many people searching for an answer to the question, How can I become a Dental Nurse?

The answer to this is relatively simple, to become a qualified Dental Nurse, you’ll need to enrol on a GDC-approved Dental Nurse course.

GDC stands for General Dental Council. They are an independent organisation in the UK that regulate dentistry courses to ensure quality content is provided.


GDC approved Dental Nurse courses are offered through:

  • Local Colleges
  • Online Learning Providers
  • Dental Nurse Apprenticeship Schemes (restrictions will apply)
  • Entry requirements will vary depending on your provider and the style of Dental Nurse course you choose.
  • Colleges and online learning providers will offer dental nursing diplomas. They will most likely ask for GCSEs in English Language, Maths and preferably a Science too at C/4 or above.
  • The Nursing Examination Board of Dental Nurses (NEBDN) is an awarding body that provides a GDC-recognised qualification.
  • Though a NEBDN-certified qualification isn’t necessary, it follows the GDC Scope of Practice. This means that you can be confident in knowing the Dental Nurse training you’ll receive will be to a high standard.


Roles and Responsibilities

dental nurse setting up xray machine Dental nursing appeals to lots of people because of the varied nature of the role. You will see a variety of different patients from different backgrounds and no two days will be exactly alike.


A ‘normal’ workday for a Dental Nurse will consist of the following core responsibilities:

  • Preparing fillings and other materials
  • Providing support and reassurance to the patient
  • Sterilising instruments
  • Processing and filing X-rays
  • Decontamination
  • Maintaining and filing patient records
  • Advising patients on oral hygiene
  • Carrying out stock control